Shy Carter Showcases Soul and Artistry on Debut EP, ‘The Rest of Us’

Shy Carter wants everyone to gather 'round and sing along!

Shy Carter Showcases Soul and Artistry on Debut EP, ‘The Rest of Us’
Shy Carter; Photo credit: Alexa King

Shy Carter has worked as a successful songwriter for years, having written songs for Kane Brown, Sugarland, Charlie Puth and more, and he gave country fans the first glimpse into who he is as a recording artist with his debut single, “Good Love,” in 2020. Carter continued forging his path as an artist this year with the good-time tune “Beer With My Friends,” featuring David Lee Murphy and Cole Swindell. Now, he is solidifying his place in the genre with his debut EP, The Rest of Us, released on October 29. Throughout the project’s eight tracks the Memphis, TN-born artist demonstrates his musical style, which is part-soul and part-country.

“I definitely wanted it to be a soulful thing,” Carter tells Sounds Like Nashville of the EP. “I want you to feel my heart and my passion when I’m singing. Of course, we made a whole lot of songs and we’ve still got more songs, but I just wanted to put together something that just flows — that has a little bit of this, a little bit of that. There are definitely a lot of fun moments and a lot of the good instrumentation that people are used to hearing in country music, and also just a little bit outside-the-box type of stuff.”

The collection begins with the feel-good, unabashedly country “Beer With My Friends,” in which Carter, Swindell and Murphy throw a weekend party complete with plenty of beer while electric guitar instrumentation and strong percussion back them up. Carter keeps that positive feeling going on the second track, “Wild,” a driving, banjo-heavy tune about a couple holding onto their “wild side,” no matter how old they get.

“We were just talking about still making sure we have fun,” Carter says of writing the song with David Garcia and Jessi Alexander. “Talking about life and talking about having kids. Mainly just having kids and not just getting stuck in the rut of getting up and taking them to school and coming back and writing a song — still making sure you take some time and get out there and have some fun.”

Carter flawlessly blends soul and country twang in the project’s fourth track, “Hurry,” a steamy slow jam co-written by Carter, Bryan Simpson and Tommy Cecil. The EP then hits a more sentimental note with “Hard,” an earnest tune in which Carter sings from the perspective of a man pleading with a love interest to give their relationship another try.

“I just want to put this message out there for anybody who feels like walking away from something because they think there’s an easier way out,” says Carter. “A lot of times we may think that at the moment, but that easier way could actually be harder than what you’re already going through right now.”

The EP also features his debut single, “Good Love,” a mid-tempo positivity anthem written by Carter, his brother Micah Carter, James Slater and Carlo Colasacco. The tune, which showcases Carter’s soaring voice, started his artist journey and continues to be a song that creates special moments during his shows.

“I think that’s always going to be something I’m going to want to sing, and hopefully people can gather around and we can sing it together,” says Carter. “It’s a Kumbaya moment, baby.”

The EP wraps up with the title track, an inspiring song about the importance of people who lift one another up, and “Rhythm and Blue Jeans,” a fun love song with a countrified soul groove. The project as a whole shows how far Carter has already come in his artist career, and it also motivates him to keep pushing and getting better.

“I want to always want to be better than I was,” he says. “I want to sing better, I want to write better, be a better dad, I want to be a better friend. I just want to keep getting better and keep having fun, but I also want to be happy to accept myself where I am and to live in the moment and enjoy every breath we’ve got.”